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TULSA, Okla. – QuikTrip Corp. made lifelong fan Albert Endrizzi an honorary employee at the grand opening of its 70th store in the Tulsa division this week, according to a Tulsa World report. Endrizzi, who has Down syndrome, rang up the store's first transaction for company executive Marc Delametter.
"My wife, Sally, met Albert 25 years ago at [the University of Tulsa] in a Best Buddy program," said QuikTrip Chief Financial Officer Stuart Sullivan. "He mentioned to my wife that he wanted to come to the grand opening, and I came up with the idea of him potentially being the first customer. And then our division manager said, 'Wouldn't it be cool if he could actually ring up the first customer?' "
The new store is located near the intersection of 47th Street and Harvard Avenue. QuikTrip surprised Endrizzi with the news when he arrived there Wednesday evening.
The company regularly receives requests to be the first customer at a new store, but QuikTrip spokesman Mike Thornbrugh said it was "fun" to make Endrizzi an honorary employee, complete with an official uniform polo-style shirt and black jacket, according to the report.
Delametter, who will retire from his roles as QuikTrip's controller and vice president of accounting next month, said he was excited to be the first customer at the store, located a few blocks from his home, and glad the company could give Endrizzi the employee experience.
"When we find somebody who loves QT as much as he does, we're going to do something nice for them," Delametter said. "For him to get to be the clerk that sells me my stuff — that made it just that much better for me."